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DJ Casper, Creator of the ‘Cha Cha Slide,’ Passes Away at Age 58

August 8, 2023

Photo Credit: New York Post

DJ Casper, the creative force behind the beloved anthem “Cha Cha Slide,” which became a fixture at weddings, proms, and dance floors during the early 2000s, has passed away at the age of 58.

According to his wife Kim, DJ Casper, whose real name was Willie Perry Jr., had been valiantly battling kidney and liver cancer since 2016. On the morning of August 7, he tragically lost his battle with the disease.

Originating from Chicago, DJ Casper conceived the infectious line dance song “Cha Cha Slide” in 1998. Originally titled “Casper Slide Pt.1,” it was designed for his nephew’s fitness class. The track rapidly gained traction across Chicago, and in 2000, he released an updated version called “Casper Slide Pt.2” under his stage name Mr. C the Slide Man. This rendition achieved global fame, even clinching the top spot on the U.K. Singles Chart in 2004.

In a poignant May interview with ABC7, DJ Casper expressed his astonishment at the overwhelming success of “Cha Cha Slide.” He revealed that he initially crafted the song as an aerobic exercise for his nephew at Bally’s. He attributed much of the song’s success to Elroy Smith from WGCI, who played a pivotal role in promoting it.

“Cha Cha Slide” became more than just a hit at weddings; it became a universal anthem played at sporting events worldwide. DJ Casper proudly stated, “I have one of the biggest songs that played at all stadiums: hockey, basketball, football, baseball; they played it at the Olympics.”

Even as he faced his personal health struggles, DJ Casper remained resilient. Diagnosed with renal and neuroendocrine cancer in 2016, he had to contend with surgeries and weight loss. Nevertheless, his spirit remained undeterred. Having battled a brain aneurysm at 22 and undergone eye surgery for detached retinas, DJ Casper continued to inspire. In 2019, he announced his cancer was in remission, but unfortunately, it resurfaced.

Photo Credit: ABC news

In his final interview, DJ Casper offered encouragement to others grappling with cancer, reminding them that they possess the power to persevere. “Anybody that’s going through cancer, know that you have cancer and cancer does not have you,” he declared. “So, keep on doing the ‘Cha Cha Slide.'”

Source: New York Post

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